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Free Trade: Benefit or Peril for the Environment?


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Free Trade: Benefit or Peril for the Environment?

Kumar Venkat

One of the most contentious issues surrounding globalization is the concern that free trade hurts the environment, both locally and globally. The classic argument for free global trade is that it is efficient for countries to specialize in producing goods where they have a comparative advantage, which they can then exchange for other goods. But skeptics like ecological economist Herman Daly have questioned this on the grounds that the real costs of trade -- including depletion of natural resources and pollution -- are hidden and routinely ignored.